by David Weber and Jane Lindskold
Cover Artist: Daniel Dos Santos
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Baen Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781451639339
Date: 01 October 2013
List Price $18.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Links: D. Weber's Website / J. Lindskold's Website / Show Official Info /
Having survived the great fire, love is in the air for Stephanie Harrington. Her relationship with Anders is progressing nicely. The only hitch is that she is given the opportunity to travel to Manticore for a special eight month training course. She and Karl are selected because they are the most expendable of the rangers. If she passes on the opportunity it could be a few years before she would have the chance again, but all those month away from Anders will seem like an eternity. Lionheart will be the first treecat to travel to Manticore. This is big news, especially since the level of sentience for treecats is being determined, and some fear what that will be as it could hurt their plans to develop Sphinx.
On Sphinx, the repercussions of the great fires are still being felt. The territory of some of the treecat clans are ravaged with few resources available, so migrations are starting to happen. But many of the clans are short on supplies and with winter coming, they are not as generous as they have been traditionally. When one migrating clan comes in contact with another clan, something strange happens. The event and fear leads to something that is unthinkable, war.
Anders, Jessica, and Valiant come across the signs of conflict. As they work to determine what is happening, they become closer friends. They both realize their changing feelings, but refuse to admit what they are feeling because of Stephanie.
This is the third young adult novel set in the Honor Harrington universe that follows the adventures of Stephanie Harrington. This is a prequel series and can be followed by readers new to the series, but I recommend reading the earlier two Stephanie Harrington adventures: A Beautiful Friendship and Fire Season. There is a nice coming of age and coming to know story arc in the series. Stephanie is going through her teenage years and learning about herself and her new friend, Lionheart. Sphinx is also a new world that is slowly developing and being explored.
I enjoy the Honorverse. This novel is no exception. I expect that both adult fans of the Honorverse and teens will enjoy this novel. There is an interesting side story related to the treecats. One that I can't describe without spoiling the action. But I will say it explores something that could be a great problem in a telepathic society.
There are several traits that Stephanie displays that were seen in Honor generations later. Several people note that Stephanie would make a great Captain. These throwaway lines are some of my favorite moments.
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